Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart said that the Town of Orangetown Open House from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the town hall is just an extension of what he hopes will happen year round.
"The open house is an important thing to do no matter what," Stewart said. "My basic principle is every day is open house. That's our attitude and we rely on people to treat it like open house every day. That's how town government works. It reacts to issues and concerns and ideas that come in from the public.
"This is the time to have a big welcome sign hung out front. People can see in a direct way what the town does and the vital services it provides."
One of the primary attractions of the open house is the tour of the Orangetown Police Department and holding cells, one of the more family-friendly parts of the event which includes a chance to check out the gear and weapons the police use.
There will also be tours of the sewer treatment plant and the historical exhibits in the town hall, demonstrations of highway and emergency services equipment and the opportunity to meet with town employees, officials and committee members.
"They can get to know town employees a bit," Stewart said. "They can see the remote-controlled TV cameras that are used to find leaks in the sewer system. They can see the holding cells. We will have some equipment in the parking lot."
Pros from Blue Hill Golf Course will also be available to help residents with their swings.
There will be a question and answer session about the Orangetown 2013 budget at 1 p.m. The overall theme of this year's open house is Community Building: Government and Citizens Working in Partnership. When asked about residents speaking at Tuesday's town board meeting about the issue of drugs being sold in Orangetown, Stewart said that was part of why events like the open house are so important.
"We really need town residents to have an understanding of the current functioning of local government so they know how to use it," Stewart said. "They know what is and isn't being done and they can make recommendations or state opinions based on being better informed."
The event concludes with a memorial ceremony in the lobby for deceased Police Officers Thomas Kennedy, Michael Reedy and Waverly Brown and Sergeant Edward O'Grady.